The effect of Banisteriopsis caapi (B. caapi) on the motor deficits in the MPTP-treated common marmoset model of Parkinson’s disease

This animal study (n=8) investigated the efficacy of Banisteriopsis caapi (0.1 – 0.3 mg/kg harmine) alone and in combination with L‐DOPA (4 – 7 mg/kg) to treat parkinsonian dyskinesia in a marmoset disease model. B. caapi alone has a mild antiparkinsonian effect but does not enhance the L‐DOPA response or reduce dyskinesia.

Abstract

Introduction: Banisteriopsis caapi (B. caapi) contains harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine, has monoamine oxidase inhibitory activity, and has reported antiparkinsonian activity in humans when imbibed as a tea; however, its effects are poorly documented.

Methods: For this reason, motor function was assessed in 1‐methyl‐4‐phenyl‐1,2,3,6‐tetrahydropyridine‐treated common marmosets following administration of B. caapi extract (28.4–113.6 mg/kg; po), harmine (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg; sc), and selegiline (10 mg/kg; sc), alone or with a submaximal dose of L‐3,4‐dihydroxyphenylalanine (L‐DOPA; 4–7 mg/kg).

Results: L‐DOPA reversed motor disability, increased locomotor activity, and induced moderate dyskinesia. B. caapi did not increase locomotor activity or induce dyskinesia but at 56.8 and 113.6 mg/kg improved motor disability. The L‐DOPA response was unaltered by co‐administration of B. caapi. Harmine (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg) produced a mild improvement in motor disability without affecting locomotor activity or dyskinesia but had no effect on the L‐DOPA‐induced antiparkinsonian response. Selegiline (10 mg/kg) alone improved motor function to the same extent as L‐DOPA, but with only mild dyskinesia, and did not alter the response to L‐DOPA, although dyskinesia was reduced.

Discussion: The findings suggest that B. caapi alone has a mild antiparkinsonian effect but does not enhance the L‐DOPA response or reduce dyskinesia.”

Authors: Ria Fisher, Louise Lincoln, Michael J. Jackson, Vincenzo Abbate, Peter Jenner, Robert Hider, Andrew Lees & Sarah Rose

Study details

Compounds studied
Ayahuasca

Topics studied
Immunity

Study characteristics
Animal Study

Participants
8

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